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Politics Iowa House race nail-biter could come down to single digits

18:55  25 november  2020
18:55  25 november  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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The closest House race of the year so far could be decided by 10 votes or less.

a man standing in front of a laptop © Provided by Washington Examiner

The battle for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District was always likely to be close. Democrat Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring after 14 years representing the southeastern Iowa district. But Republicans had a banner year in Iowa, with GOP Sen. Joni Ernst winning a second term and the defeat of a sitting Democratic congresswoman in a neighboring district. Moreover, President Trump won Iowa by 8 points while losing the White House to President-elect Joe Biden.

The 2nd District House race pits Republican state Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks against Democrat Rita Hart. The election has gone into overtime after Hart called for a recount of the unofficial election results, which initially showed Miller-Meeks holding a 47-vote lead of the 394,000 ballots cast.

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Miller-Meeks now holds a 35-vote lead, according to the unofficial results on the Iowa Secretary of State's website Wednesday morning. There is still a handful of counties finishing up their counts.

The race is important for both parties. House Democrats unexpectedly lost seats in 2020 and could end up with a majority of only about 222 in the 435-member chamber. That would leave little margin for error in trying to pass legislation, among other problems. House Republicans, meanwhile, see Iowa's 2nd District as a rich pickup opportunity that would help put them within striking distance of winning the majority in the 2022 midterm elections.

If the count comes down to a tie, the candidates' names will be placed into a hat, and the winner's name will be drawn.

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According to the Quad-City Times, both campaigns confirmed that Hart gained over 30 votes in Scott County, which wrapped up its recount on Saturday and could trim Miller-Meeks's lead to single digits. But the Iowa Republican’s campaign argued that the county used illegal methods to recount the ballots because it was performed by machine and by hand.

Iowa law requires a recount in every precinct to be conducted either by optical-scan ballot tabulating equipment or by a manual count in separate recounts.

Hart's campaign, however, argued that officials on the recount boards, which are composed of a member from each campaign and one impartial member, can decide how to proceed.

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Tags: News, Iowa, House elections, 2020 Elections, Congress

Original Author: Kerry Picket

Original Location: Iowa House race nail-biter could come down to single digits

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